Search For Runaway Teens From Michigan Gets National Attention

Posted at 10:28 PM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 22:35:43-04

MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – For nearly two weeks police and family members have been searching for a 14 and 13-year-old from the Mount Pleasant area.

According to the Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski, the two teens took a family member’s SUV and disappeared.

The sheriff said tips have been coming in from all over the country but as each day passes the family grows more concerned.

FOX 17 spoke with the grandmother of 14-year-old Braxton Wood, “Braxton I want you home,” said Colleen Kiley.  “Grandma Colleen misses you and loves you.  I’m scared Braxton.”

On Monday, Aug. 26 the Isabella County sheriff was called and told that 13-year-old Jayden Thomas had run away from her home in the middle of the night to meet Wood.

The sheriff said the two teens took a 2005 black Ford Explorer with the license plate BCQ 4820.  The vehicle belongs to Wood’s father.

“They had taken some clothes and personal belongings so we were quite sure at that point it wasn’t an abduction,” said sheriff Mioduszewski.

At first it was thought the two were heading to Florida.  Earlier in the week police were able to track one the of teen’s cell phones and discovered it was still in the Isabella County area but they couldn’t pinpoint the location in time.

“It appears that the phones have a dead battery or it’s just been turned off,” said the sheriff.  “There has been no recent activity what-so-ever.”

The sheriff said there’s been no shortage of leads for law enforcement, “We’ve gotten calls from Midland, Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia.  So we’ve got a lot of calls coming in, people saying that they think they may have seen the individuals.”

So far they haven’t had the one lead they need and it’s taken it’s toll on the families.

“One day was bad enough, two days and it’s going on way too long,” said Braxton’s grandmother.  “I don’t know why they can’t find them.”

Kiley said running away simply isn’t the person she’s known Braxton to be.  Just three days prior to his disappearance, she spent the day with her grandson.

“That’s what he wanted to do that day, go see my mom, his great-grandmother,” she said.  “He’s a kind young man.”

Now all the family members involved including law enforcement searching for the teens are hopeful this will all be over soon.

“It only takes that one call, that one sighting that works out and that is what we are hoping for in this situation,” the sheriff said.

Kiley said once Jayden and Braxton are found, she hopes to change the Amber Alert policy.  Kiley said because the two teens are considered runaways and not victims of an abduction it doesn’t meet the criteria to issue an Amber Alert.